The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Sunday afternoon in Kano, declared that he would devote 100 per cent of his time and energy to serving Nigerians if elected.
This was as the former Lagos State governor mocked the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, pledging that he would not be a part-time president that would spend 50 per cent of his time ruling the country from Dubai.
This was contained in a statement released in Abuja by Tinubu’s Media Officer, Tunde Rahman, shortly after his interactive session with members of the popular Tijjaniyyah sect in Kano.
The statement partly read, “I won’t be a part-time President who will share time between living in Dubai and Nigeria. I would concentrate attention and energy on confronting and surmounting Nigeria’s pressing challenges.”
Tinubu’s mockery was coming barely two months after his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, described the former vice president as a political tourist who only returned to the country every electoral cycle.
While referring to Atiku as a father he held in high esteem, Shettima said Nigerians wanted a leader whose worth and output could be felt at home.
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Endorsing Tinubu’s ambition on Sunday, the Tijjaniyyah sect demanded that his presidency should ensure inclusion of their members in cabinet and other government appointments, reduction in Hajj fares and assistance in concluding Tijjaniyyah University under construction in Kano.
Reacting, Tinubu said the answers to their demand were in his manifesto, which was unveiled on Friday by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
While assuring the northern business leaders of better business environment with well-thought-out policies, Tinubu identified the link between Kano as a centre of commerce and his economic plan for Nigeria.
He said, “There is a strong nexus between the place of Kano as a centre of prosperity and my plan for Nigeria. What I pledge is a revamped economy which will renew the hope of our people. Our country needs multiple centres of prosperity, and we intend to achieve that by adding value across all sectors of our economy.
“As I said during my speech at the Arewa House on Monday, Nigeria is sitting on a goldmine. There is no state in Nigeria that is lacking in one resources or another. We are determined to explore and exploit these resources to the maximum benefits of our people. Kano, for example, has huge agricultural potentials and important mineral resources underneath its ground like gold, silver, nickel, tin ore and columbite. Each of these, if properly harnessed, can add significantly to our economy as a country.”